While the TV community mourns the passing of Robert Hegyes, who played Juan Epstein on the 1970s sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter,” we thought it might be interesting to see what all the other Sweathogs as well as Mr. Kotter are up to these days. Here’s an update:
John Travolta (Vinnie Barbarino) – After some lean years in the 1980s, Travolta’s career rocketed back following his role as Vincent Vega in the 1994 film “Pulp Fiction,” and he hasn’t looked back since. Subsequent films included “Face/Off,” “Get Shorty” and “Wild Hogs.” He’s very much an A-lister.
Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs (Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington) – Known for his over enunciation “Hey, Mister Kot-taire,” Hilton-Jacobs’ character was the star on Buchanan High’s basketball team. Since the series left the air in 1979, he’s had a slew of guest starring roles in TV series from “Hill Street Blues“ to “Roseanne” to “Chuck.” His longest stint was on the show “Alien Nation.”
Ron Palillo (Arnold Horshack) – The guy with the more than nasal twang in his voice and borderline annoying laugh. After his days as a Sweathog, Palillo had a series of guest starring roles on TV and did, ironically, a lot of voice over work. He currently lives in Florida and teaches acting.
Gabe Kaplan (Gabe Kotter) – The teacher who was charged with keeping order in the Brooklyn classroom. Following “Kotter,” Kaplan did acting, albeit infrequently. He found a second career as a professional poker player, and a good one at that. In 2004, Kaplan came in third at the World Poker Tour no-limit Texas hold ’em event. For this, he walked away with more than $250,000. He also hosted GSN’s show “High Stakes Poker” for its first six seasons alongside A.J. Benza.